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January’s 3 Hidden Food Gems – Maggie Joan’s, Ash & Elm and Paradise Teochew Restaurant

Don't let these new finds go under your radar.

01: Hide and Seek

MaggiePeek

The only way to find new restaurant Maggie Joan’s (pictured in header) is by spotting a nondescript dark wood door and the potted olive plant next to it in the back alley of Gemmill Lane and Amoy Street. Inside, rough brick walls and cemented floors give this dimly lit space an edgy underground vibe, though this doesn’t extend to the food. Dishes here are elegant both in execution and presentation – be it a particularly moreish poached egg rolled in hazelnuts and sesame then deep-fried, or a lightly marbled piece of grilled iberico pork jowl served with boozy prunes soaked in sherry. Even a typically dense dessert like orange pound cake is refined with touches of almond flowers and brushed with citrus syrup.

#01-01, 110 Amoy Street (entrance from Gemmill Lane)

02: Where There’s Smoke

LongPizza

Intercontinental Singapore’s former all-day buffet restaurant Olive Tree has been given a fresh lease of life, as the spanking new Ash & Elm takes over. The 150-seater is the hotel’s latest go at an interactive dining experience, with three live stations that include a charcuterie, a cheese room and an open grill. Here, flatbreads arrive fresh from the restaurant’s wood-fired oven, and prime cuts like Bavette d’Aloyau and Australian rib-eye are grilled over manuka woodchips and charcoal for a smoky edge.

Level 1, Intercontinental Singapore

03: HEAVY ON LIGHTNESS

Paradise

Light doesn’t always need to mean bland. Just look at the new Paradise Teochew Restaurant, where flavours are teased out through light-handed seasonings and minimal use of oil. Take the steamed diced chicken wrapped in egg white crepe, for example. The paper-thin crepe is pan-fried at a consistent temperature, then quickly taken out and artfully wrapped around a generous portion of fragrant meat with bits of Chinese ham and diced water chestnut for an added crunch. Also good are crispy sweet and sour noodles done Teochewstyle, best enjoyed dipped in vinegar for a tangy finish.

#03-01 Chinese Swimming Club, 21 Amber Road